New Mexico
Environment Department

Contact Information:
(505) 827-2855 MAIN // 1-800-219-6157 (toll free)
Environmental Emergencies:
505-827-9329 (24 hrs)

Liquid Waste Program

Liquid Waste Permitting Process

  1. Application – Print and fill out an Application for Liquid Waste Permit or Registration  Section NMAC
    1. Must include signatures granting authorization by either owner or owner’s authorized representative,
      • Licensed contractors with one of the following licenses (MM-1, MM-98, MS-1, MS-3) are qualified to install septic systems.
      • Homeowners may install simple conventional systems after passing a written test.
    2. Application must be complete, including approved materials, proper sizing, soil characteristics, geological and hydrological conditions, site conditions and:
  2. Supporting Documentation
    1. Proof of Ownership – Tax Bill and/or Recorded Warranty Deed, Real Estate Contract or other  documentation that may reasonably establish ownership, Section NMAC,
    2. Site Diagram – Showing structures, wells, boundaries, liquid waste systems, and other appropriate setbacks as listed in Table 301.1,
    3. Floorplan  – For residential structures show number of bedrooms; for commercial properties show fixtures or other information related to sizing,
    4. Plat or Survey – May be provided to show boundaries, acreage or other relevant features of the lot,
  3. Submit to Local NMED Field Office for review
    • NMED will notify applicant of actions taken on the permit application.
    • Actions may included granting the permit, granting with conditions, or denial.
    • Conventional Systems may take up to five (5) business days for completeness check and ten business (10) days to return a decision.
    • Advanced Treatment Systems may take up to ten (10) business days for completeness check and twenty business (20) days to return a decision.
    • The Variance Process will take a minimum of twenty (20) days to allow for the public notification process and review.
  4. Pay for Permit only after you are contacted by NMED to inform you that your permit was approved or approved with conditions.  DO NOT SUBMIT PAYMENT BEFORE NOTICE OF APPROVAL.
  5. Request Inspection by NMED 48 hours (2 business days) in advance (DO NOT COVER BEFORE INSPECTION)
  6. After Approved Inspection you will receive a copy of the Permit to Operate


  • Incomplete Applications may delay the permitting process
  • NMED may conduct a pre-inspection of the site by request or if required.
  • Additional information may be required to reasonably establish lot size, boundaries and date of record, easements and other relevant details as per Section NMAC
  • Advanced Treatment Systems (ATS) may require additional documentation, including a signed Maintenance Contract, signed Sampling Contract, Statement of site conditions, Sampling Port Details and the reason an ATS is required.
  • The Variance process has special requirements further described in the Variance section of the website.
  • Appeal Process – If your permit application was denied by NMED, or granted with conditions that you object to, you may appeal this decision.  Liquid Waste Disposal Regulation (NMAC) provides that any person who is dissatisfied with an action taken by NMED on a permit application or variance petition may appeal to the NMED Secretary.  The appeal must be filed in writing with the NMED Secretary within 15 working days after notice of the NMED action is issued.